I have an American passport full of stamps. I was born in Kenya and since have lived in many different places. From a young age God has nurtured a passion for far away sights and people in my heart. The reality however, is that passions becoming reality can be messy, and often is.
Before moving to Thailand I spent 5 years as a night shift ER nurse in the United States. During this time I gained experience and a passion for nursing while my husband completed a master’s degree. In the midst of this busy season we dreamed of where God would lead us to next. My husband, I and my (yet unborn) daughter moved to Chiang Mai in the fall of 2015. After language school, work at a different NGO and many questions of where, when, why we were in Thailand after all…we were introduced to Earth Mission Asia.
Being invited to work with Earth Mission Asia and our journey so far with them has been like an oasis in the desert. To us, EMA has been a gift of God’s grace and abundance as we work in a place with people so beautiful and committed to their cause. Here we have been able to learn new skills and new things about ourselves. We have been given space and permission to work out of our passions and have been invited to thrive as a family.
My daily work in Chiang Mai involves teaching our first year students in various subjects including Medical Math and Applied English Vocabulary. I get to spend time with our students as they practice their English as I also help with the schedules and administration of the rest of the first year program. When typed on a page it sounds ordinary.
But my days are far from ordinary as I get to spend time with students that share a desire and drive to serve their own people. Students that work so diligently to learn about science, math, computer and medical vocabulary in their 2nd or 3rd language. Students that always have a smile on their face and eagerly reach out to hold my daughter and coax some laughs.
My days are far from ordinary as I work alongside fellow Thai’s, Karen, Burmese, American’s and more, all sharing a mutual desire to serve the Karen people and provide healthcare to remote Myanmar.
This week I have heard a number of staff here at EMA describe their co-workers as their family. I enjoy coming to work. It’s not just the flowers or the fountain in the garden, or being able to bring my daughter to work. It’s the diverse community both here and in Myanmar that work together towards the same goal: the goal of providing healthcare, reducing the rates of maternal mortality, of death in childhood, of preventable diseases and a team of very different people, from very different backgrounds, working together to share hope.
It’s not perfect. We are all imperfect people and the road ahead for EMA and Myanmar is difficult. Yet I know without a doubt that this journey is beautiful and even in the difficult days I feel the miracle of this oasis that God has brought my family to, the grace that I see in Earth Mission Asia, and I am so glad that we get to be a part of it.